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DIY Tiling (2/2)

Step 1 – Apply Adhesive

You should find instructions on the packaging of your tile adhesive informing you of how much adhesive to mix, and the correct quantities of water. For speed and ease, use a power drill with a mixing paddle attachment to mix the adhesive together. In terms of consistency, the adhesive should be thick enough to slowly fall off an angled trowel after 1-2 seconds.

Place a generous amount of adhesive onto your sub-floor, and then using your trowel (be sure to purchase the correct trowel depending on the kind of tiles you will be laying), roughly begin to work the adhesive out from where you placed it. Next when you have an even amount of adhesive spread across the area you are going to begin in (we recommend about a metre squared at a time), begin scraping your trowel through the adhesive, allowing it to create notches to achieve what’s known as a ‘solid bed’. The kind of trowel you use will determine the depth and width of these notches, and should complement the type of tile you’re laying.

Step 2 – How to Lay Tiles

When you come to laying the tiles, remember to check each tile carefully for cracks and imperfections before you lay it. With natural tiles such as stone or slate, you’ll need to apply a light but thorough ‘butter’ to the bottom of the tiles with your tile adhesive, to help to fill in all these cracks and inconsistencies. Lay your tiles carefully. Make sure not to damage your back if you’re laying heavy tiles. Once in place, apply a bit of pressure to the tile from above and gently move it in place to allow it to really sit in place. It’s also important to ensure your tile is flat using a spirit level. If it needs adjustment give it a gently tap with a wooden block or with your spirit level.

Step 3 – How to Apply Tile Grout

Now that all your tiles are in place, you’ll need to begin to mix your tile grout. There are many different types of grout available, so be sure to ask advice on what’s the most appropriate for your tiles. Follow the instructions on the back of your packet of tile grout to mix the correct quantities of grout mix and water. It’s advisable to mix small amounts as you progress through the room. The consistency we refer to is a like a smooth porridge.

Begin laying the grout onto the gaps between your tiles using your trowel; then using a grout float, spread the grout into the gaps with the grout float at a 45 degree angle to the floor, ensuring you are getting the grout into the gaps. After you’ve finished laying the grout, leave it to dry for about 10-15mins until you find the grout feels like a cream cheese consistency. Now, using your sponge, clean the surface of the floor removing any excess grout. Leave the floor for a further 15mins until you begin to see a haze form over the floor as the residual grout dries on top of the tiles. You can now use your grout finishing tool to clean up the joins between the tiles, and after this you can use a professional tile grout remover to thoroughly clean the floor.

Congratulations! You now know how to tile a floor!